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What all Instruments and Components Must Be monitored for the Proper Functioning of Fire Sprinkler Systems?

Posted by: Krish Malhotra
Functioning of Fire Sprinkler Systems | Mill Brook Fire Protection

Sprinkler Systems are, quite significantly, an essential life safety tool for fire protection. This tool, unquestionably, serves to be an absolute requisite, certified by codes and local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).

As per records and evidence, fire sprinkler systems reduce the probabilities of dying in a fire, and the average property loss per accident, both, by one-half to two-thirds.And a few devices and components (of the system itself) prove to be crucial instruments for fostering the proper working and effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems.

The monitoring of these tools is, therefore, quite imperative.

millbrookThe Functioning of a Fire Alarm Control Panel with a Fire Sprinkler System:
The fire alarm control panel constantly monitors the several components of a sprinkler system. Thus, when a fire breaks out, the fire alarm control panel receives a signal from smoke detectors, the fire sprinkler system, a manual call point, or a pull switch in the building.

The fire alarm control panel reacts to any of these signals by producing noise, lighting up or activating local bells, and sending an urgent warning to fire officials or a private monitoring company, whoever is allotted with the task of notifying the authorities.

*Note: The fire alarm control panel can’t detect the fire on its own, but it can respond to the signals it gets from the systems that detect the smoke.

What is a Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT)?
A Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT) provides communication between a compatible control panel and a 24/7 central monitoring station (CMS) over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The transmitter uses the Contact ID (CID) protocol and is capable of single, dual, or even split reporting of events to up to six configurable central monitoring stations.

Thus, both the instruments, the fire alarm control panel and DACT, must be monitored and inspected on a regular basis. These two devices, as a matter of fact, help the fire sprinkler system function more effectively.

millbrookWhat All Components of the Fire Sprinkler System must be Inspected Properly?
Strict inspection is required for sectional control and isolation valves, valves on water supply connections, and other valves in supply pipes to sprinklers and other stationary water-based fire suppression systems.

Supervisory switches monitor the open or closed state of valves that control the water supply in a fire sprinkler system. These switches are required to transfer a signal to the fire alarm control panel, whether if a valve is closed 20 percent or more of its total travel distance.

Air Pressure:
Now, when the sprinkler head opens up because of the detection of sufficient heat in the surrounding, the air (sometimes nitrogen) gets lost within the pipes. The lack of air pressure subsequently allows the clapper valve to open, causing water to flow into the pipes.
Thus, both the instruments, the fire alarm control panel and DACT, must be monitored and inspected on a regular basis. These two devices, as a matter of fact, help the fire sprinkler system function more effectively.

An air pressure switch is, therefore, used to electronically monitor the low-pressure air or nitrogen in the fire sprinkler system. If this pressure is lost, the low-pressure switch warns the fire alarm control panel about the problem. A bad air compressor or even a simple leakage can also result in the activation of a low-pressure condition.

millbrookWater Pressure:
The water pressure and flow in wet pipe fire sprinkler systems must be monitored with vane or paddle-type waterflow detectors and pressure switches, which together can detect the ability of water to flow through the system and trigger an alarm signal in the event of a problem.

If not monitored carefully, the system pipes could freeze and burst, or ice could form in the pipes restricting water flow to the sprinkler heads. If the water source for the system includes tanks, water levels and the temperature in the tanks must also be monitored.

The failure of any of the aforementioned instruments or components can, indeed, decline the effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems.
Though fire sprinkler systems can very well, control the roaring flames of several fires, but, a notified team of authorities can cooperate in reducing the effect of the accident even more. Not solely that, a proper inspection of the control valves, air, and water pressure, and for that matter, the entire sprinkler unit is very important (Read our article on the same: How Often Should Your Fire Sprinkler Systems Be Inspected And Tested?).

And, if you have any issues with your entire fire controlling unit, you can, without giving it a second thought, contact Mill Brook Fire Protection.
Our services can help you save the life of your loved ones!

Author: Krish Malhotra